Where to start?

Charlotte hams it up for Uncle Hal’s camera on Thanksgiving Day.

The biggest news ever: Today is Day #5 without vomit. Yep, five whole days with no vomit (I’m not counting tiny little wet burps at breakfast). I’m jumping for joy.

The even better news: Since Saturday, Charlotte has been eating like crazy. She simply loves Spaghettios. On Monday I had to give her a second serving. Tonight she ate about a tablespoon. She’s drinking about half of her Pediasure each day. Amazing. Truly.

I’m sure there is a correlation between the eating and the lack of vomit. My theory is that the more days she goes without a major reflux incident, the less she associates eating with pain and the more she eats.

Word of the day: After her nap, I asked Charlotte if she wanted to eat. She said, “Eat.” She even enunciated the “t” at the end.

Flavors of the week: Pineapple. She likes to hold a chunk or two and suck on it. And wheat thins. Nibble, nibble.


Charlotte in the Big Apple

New York City.

Yesterday someone asked me how Charlotte liked New York City. I said that for her it probably didn’t seem that different from home: We started the day at Starbucks, played in a local playground and then warmed up in the Children’s section of Barnes & Noble. And, no, I’m not getting paid for product placement. (That would be nice though, wouldn’t it?!)

As usual, traveling isn’t the best treatment for Charlotte’s reflux. For some reason, she was gagging a lot on Saturday and Sunday before we left Chicago, so we did not have high hopes for the airplane or travel day. We got lucky, actually. Charlotte had one urpcident on Sunday. Sadly, it was in the middle of the night after her bedtime feed. That’s the worst time, as far as I’m concerned. It disrupts her sleep and seems quite painful.

On Monday she was still quite gaggy, but I needed to make up for having underfed her on Sunday. (When we travel, we never pump her en route. We let her eat what she will to avoid urping.) Sadly, after her nap, she had a reflux episode in the stroller on 3rd Avenue. Chalk it up to New York, no one noticed or said a word!

Today, she was back to eating as she has been for a few weeks—about 50% by mouth. She had a small gag at breakfast, but nothing dramatic.

The odd thing is her napping. At home she naps 90 minutes, no more, no less. You can set your clock by it. Yesterday she napped for 2+ hours. I wasn’t surprised because she hadn’t napped well on the flight and her sleep had been interrupted Sunday night. Today, she napped for more than 3 hours! I was shocked. And a bit bummed, because I had a fun outing planned that we had to skip.

All in all, Charlotte’s first trip to the Big Apple has been just another couple of days for her—playgrounds, coffee bars, and story time. She’s enjoyed being paraded around Daddy’s office and going to restaurants with Mommy and Daddy.

Tomorrow, it’s off to New Jersey to charm her cousins.

A Message to Team Charlotte

Riddle: If you accidentally spill a glass of water on your laptop, what happens?

Answer: Well, it works for a little while, hooked up to a desktop. The touchpad and keyboard die. And then, nothing. (Okay, I know this is not funny.)

Yep, this tired Mommy knocked over a glass of water. Now my dear laptop is at the computer hospital where, hopefully, they will be able to retrieve my data tomorrow. We saw all the files before the Vaio died for good, but there’s no guarantee.

If you’re reading this and you have occasion to know my email address, please drop me an email with all of your pertinent information (email, phone, etc.). If I’ve emailed you since Tuesday, chances are I still don’t have your phone number or address. I’m able to email by responding to your emails saved on my web-based interface.

Also, if I’ve sent you anything I’ve written since June (essays, children’s book, spreadsheets, lecture notes, cover letter, c.v., resume, anything at all), please send a copy back to me.

Just asking for this to hedge my bet in case MicroCenter tells me that I’ve lost everything. Keep your fingers crossed that they can retrieve the data.


Back up your computer. Do it now. Seriously.
Thank you, Team Charlotte.

Election Day

When I was a girl, my elementary school closed for election day because the cafeteria/gym was our local polling place. My mom would take me with her, right into the big booth with the black curtain that closed behind us. I’d watch as she flipped her choices and then heaved the big lever to cast her vote.

Polite conversation or not, my parents talked politics at the dinner table. I registered to vote as soon as I turned 18. The first election I was eligible to vote in pitted incumbent Ronald Reagan against former Vice President Walter Mondale. And, I was lucky enough to be at a college where people talked about politics (a lot) and dated across party lines. During that election, my boyfriend was the president of the campus Republicans. (And, no, he did not invite me to any inaugural balls. This is still a sticking point.) The next semester, the friend who got me through political science was the son of Mr. Mondale. It was a heady time.

Following my mother’s example, I took my daughter to my polling place today. (Many thanks to my pal Jeanne S. who serendipitously showed up in time to take our picture.) Her memories won’t include the huge, looming mechanical machine. She’ll know about electronic polling, machines that won’t take the ballot as fed, and all kinds of Cook County mixups. She’ll learn that sometimes we have to vote for the lesser of two evils.

But, she’ll know that it is not just her privilege and her right to vote, it is her duty as the proud citizen of a democracy.

Flavor of the Week

Homemade strawberry sorbet. Hey, Dean, thanks for the tip on the ice cream maker!

Flavor of the Week

Posing for her closeup, Charlotte practices being a super-model.
Oscar Meyer and Chef Boyardee are Charlotte’s two favorite chefs these days. The flavors of the week: turkey bologna and Ravioli-Os. These are truly among the foods I never thought I’d feed my child, at least not before she hit pre-school

In honor of her mom’s new writing gigs, Charlotte gets into the books

For the most part, feeding Charlotte for the past few weeks has resembled my last feeding post. Until yesterday, she continued to refuse most solid food and to take in only bout 25% of her Pediasure.

I recently made some changes that seem to have improved things or at least to have taken some of the tantrum out of eating:

–I’ve removed the table from the Stokke chair. Charlotte sits in the chair pushed right up to the table. This eliminates the possibility of her fighting me by trying to lift the table top off of her high chair and/or by putting bits of her food down the little slot in the table.
–I’ve stopped trying to feed her purees at many meals. She is seriously interested in feeding herself, a very recent development. So I give her a couple of noodles, a block of cheese, a quarter of a piece of bologna and disappear into the kitchen. As I prepare her Pediasure, I watch her eat all by herself. Mainly, she’s mouthing the food, sucking on bits of ham, cheese, kielbasa. But, sometimes she takes, chews, and swallows real bites.
–I also tell Charlotte that she has to take 10 sips. We count to 10 as she takes 10 sips.

So far, so good. She did not vomit at all on Tuesday and Wednesday. Today and yesterday she drank 135 ml for lunch. Not an all time record, but pretty good for the past few weeks. I’m still crying over spilled milk, but not quite daily.

More Shameless Self-Promotion

Well, it’s official. I’m a columnist, writing quarterly about the “kidslitosphere,” or blogs that talk about children’s literature. If you’re interested, you can read more at Prairie Wind.

Also, I’ve recently begun reviewing children’s books for the longest extant children’s literature blog, Book Buds Kidlit Review. My charming new editor posted my introduction and bio today and my first review will be up to tomorrow. To entice you to read more, if you click here you’ll get to see a picture of Charlotte.

More on Charlotte tonight or tomorrow, with lots of pictures.